Review: Described in the accompanying press release as "the halfway point between Bollywood and Balearic", Rupa Biswas' 1982 debut "Disco Jazz" has long been a favourite of dusty-fingered diggers with a healthy bank balance and a penchant for the quirky. All four tracks are cheery, charming and superior to many "Bollywood disco" records produced in the same period. The sunny disco-boogie of "Moja Bhari Moja" is followed on side A by the delightfully eccentric, bass-powered AOR-disco/funk-rock fusion of "East West Shuffle" and the effortlessly Balearic cheeriness of "Aaj Shanibar". Best of all, though, is the exotic and intoxicating flipside cut "Ayee Morshume Be-Reham Duniya" which expertly joins the dots between cosmic rock and Balearic disco grooves for 16 spellbinding minutes.
Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - "Tommy's Rock Steady" (3:01)
The Techniques - "Drink Wine" (2:57)
Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - "Hot Rock" (3:39)
Miller, Williams, Yount - "Release Me" (4:11)
Sam Jones/Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - "Hey Leroy" (3:03)
The Techniques - "Queen Majesty" (3:35)
Tommy McCook & The Supersonics/King Kurtis - "Soul Serenade" (3:13)
The Paragons - "Mercy Mercy" (2:59)
Phyllis Dillon - "Don't Touch Me Tomato" (3:04)
The Melodians - "You Don't Need Me" (3:08)
Tommy McCook & The Supersonics - "Down Bond Street" (3:15)
Review: The Treasure Isle Recording Studio is unparalleled when it comes to some of the biggest rocksteady hits to come out of Jamaica. On this essential reissue, some of its greatest output is explored on tenor sax by Tommy McCook - an original pioneer of the sound and one of Jamaica's most celebrated musicians - and produced by the legendary Duke Reid of the Trojan Sound System. This is music from a golden era, when rocksteady outshone the more upbeat ska, and focus was shifted to song based material, with elements of r&b and blues all reimagined through a decidedly Jamaican lens.
Review: St. Petersburg-based imprint Soviett is rather restrained when it comes to releasing music on wax, with this tidy EP marking only their third vinyl excursion in as many years. It is, though, packed with quietly impressive treats. Label co-founder Ivan Starzev kicks things off via the woozy melodies, dreamy chords and Pet Shop Boys circa "Behaviour" grooves of "Waiting", before Claes Rosen ups the tempo a little via the liquid deep house bounce of the undeniably picturesque "Cumulus". Over on side B, Hideo Kobayashi wraps warm and drowsy chords and trippy acid lines around a chunky, dub-fired deep house groove on "Perfect Perception", while Nightdrive joins the dots between analogue disco, razor-sharp synth pop and hazy deep house on tasty closing cut "Je T Aime".
Review: Having appeared on the likes of Nous Disques, Dream Eater and Collection Artaud, it was only a matter of time before London beat splicer J-Shadow's glacial, unnerving textures and sounds would find a home on Bun The Grid. With strong senses of techno and electro deep in the low-end mix, highlights include the nutty, almost breakcore style flippery of "No Gravity" the powerful technoid dirge of the title track "Embers". Loaded with remixes from none other than Etch and Danny Scrilla, once again BTG have spoilt us rotten.
Review: After years spent offering up impressive blends of ambient, drone, electronica and experimental drum and bass as ASC, James Clements has decided to commit more time to Comit (sorry), an alternative project which first surfaced via a debut single in 2016. Here the San Diego-based Brit delivers a first full-length excursion under the alias. There's plenty to soothe and seduce on the eight tracks stretched across two slabs of wax, from the undulating, occasionally skittish beats and sweeping chord sequences of opener "Behind Dulled Eyes" and the icy, doom-laden electronic melancholy of "Reverie", to the early Black Dog Productions flex of "Clouded Over" and the dubbed-out, slow motion bliss of "Soft Focus".
Review: Three years ago, teenager Claire Cottrill became a viral sensation via her song "Pretty Girl", a bedroom produced slice of lo-fi pop perfection that earned her a legion of online fans. Now 20, Cottrill has delivered a debut album that's as intimate and confessional as her earlier work, but a little more polished production wise. As critics have pointed out, "Immunity" offers the best of both worlds and is packed with arresting, interesting songs. Check, for example, the drowsy, other-worldly dream pop of "Alewife", the R&B-influenced indie-pop shuffle of "Closer To You", the rock-fired growl of "North", the glistening, pedal steel-sporting goodness of "Safely" and the glitchy late night sweetness of "Sinking".
Review: Having established a name for themselves with energetic riffs and ignorance towards safe volumes, the latest long-player from London trio Crushed Breaks isn't so much a departure from previous outings as a crescendo. The elements we've come to love them for are- at times quite literally- boiling over here. Heat being the operative intense feeling in this instance. Designed, and destined, to fill cavernous rooms, tracks like "Ad Nauseam" and "Thinking Backwards" stand at the most accessible or universal. "Silver Tongue" almost borders on balladry, albeit apparently conceived under the watchful eye of Stone Roses' eternal spirit. Numbers like "Red Shift", meanwhile, joins the likes of "Honesty Box", with much more raucous musicality invoking some of the great indie rock 'n' roll rebels, in the best possible way.
Review: For the sixth missive on his admirable Touch From A Distance label, Panorama Bar/Berghain resident Nick Hoppner has turned to debutant Cameo Blush. The little-known artist hits the ground running with title track "Murky Waters", a superb fusion of two-step influenced electro drums, bleeping electronic melodies and drowsy female vocal snippets. "Hypervisibility" is a deep but weighty chunk of melodic electro bliss, while "Prophet Paradise" is dreamy, languid and sun-kissed, with bright and breezy lead lines and warming chords. Equally as impressive is killer closing cut "Year 2000 Problem", a rumbling breakbeat workout smothered in the kind of blissful electronic flourishes that were such a feature of Isolee classic "Beau Mot Plage".